Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Colin Hollidge


Social Work


Statistics show that only 14.4% of Hmong students age 25 and older held bachelor’s degrees ( US Census Bureau, 2012) and 27% of Hmong live in poverty in the United States (UNPO, 2014). These are alarming statistics when compared to other racial and ethnic groups. The following systematic review was conducted to answer the research question: What psycho-social variables contributing to disparities of Hmong students in postsecondary education? Previous research articles included peer reviews and dissertations that were published after the year 2000. The databases used to collect relevant research were EBSCOhost (Academic Search Premier), Google Scholars, and JSTOR using search terms: “Hmong students” and “academic success” or “factors contributing to Hmong student educational success” or Hmong students’ experience in American educational system.” Twelve articles met inclusion criteria and were used for the final review. Four overarching categories were established to ensure a comprehensive review: acculturation, cultural expectations, educational experience, and socioeconomic status. Underneath these overarching categories, eight sub-themes surfaced from the synthesis regarding psycho-social factors that contribute to disparities of Hmong students in postsecondary education. These sub-themes are: 1) generational conflict, 2) ethnic identity, 3) family support, 4) family obligations, 5) academic support programs, 6) teacher/student interactions, 7) parental involvement, and 8) financial resource. These themes suggests that Hmong students are faced 1 Psycho-Social factors to Disparities of Hmong Students in Postsecondary Education with challenges related to their historical context, ethnic culture, and experiences in the United States. Future research is required to further understand the unique challenges Hmong students encounter as they move through American society.

Included in

Social Work Commons